Lzzy Hale: I just want to get out there and kick ass
From rural backwater gigging to being the go-to female rock guest, her journey – and that of her band, Halestorm – is still evolving
“It feels like it’s been about six different lifetimes,” Lzzy Hale says, laughing warmly, chatting shortly after the 20th anniversary of Halestorm, the band she co-founded – when she was just 13 – with her drummer brother Arejay. “I haven’t matured much, I’ll say that, but I’ve learned more.”
All leather, terrifying heels and huge beaming mouth, Hale, now 33, is striking yet unfailingly sweet – and arguably the most archetypal female rock star working today (in the classic, Joan Jett-rivalling sense). We caught up with her on a break from recording Halestorm’s fourth, currently untitled, album, working with Foo Fighters producer Nick Raskulinecz.
Halestorm’s previous album, Into The Wildlife****_, was well-received but also came in for some criticism for its poppier side. Is there a temptation to go the other way with the next record?_
We pride ourselves on wearing our emotions on our sleeve, and we follow whatever gets us excited at the time. With the last record we weren’t really sure what it was going to sound like at the time, because we decided not to have a plan. But this next record, will probably be our most rock’n’roll to date. We’re getting not over-thinking it. It’s basically the four of us in a room, like it was in the very beginning of Halestorm in my parents’ basement.
You’ve become something of a go-to guest singer for rock and metal heavyweights (Corey Taylor, Slash, Black Stone Cherry…). Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with?
There’s always a running list. I’ve never done anything with the Heart sisters and I definitely would love to do that. Amy Lee [Evanescence] and I have been talking about it for about five years. One of these days we’ll get that going on together.
Having started piano lessons when you were five, you picked up the guitar at sixteen. What inspired that?
When we started the band, I started watching these old VHS tapes that my parents’ friends would give me, so I had Scorpions and Cinderella’s Night Songs, a collection of their videos. I would watch these and be like: “Man, I have, like, a keytar right now; it is not cool. I wanna be a badass” [laughs]. Shortly after that, one of our first guitar players, who was in the band for about six months, had to leave. My sixteen-year-old self was like: “Alright, we’re probably not going to find another guitar player, I might as well learn.” I wanted to do that anyway.